Just yesterday we wrote a post on how Mercedes-Benz is planning to go local assembly with its SUVs and how it is going to face increased competition with the launch of Lexus and Infiniti in India. Now Nissan’s Executive Vice-President has gone ahead and revealed how the Japanese automaker is considering the launch of their premium brand Infiniti in India. Nissan is planning to launch Datsun at the lower end of the market, while keeping Nissan for the medium segment, Infiniti would sit right above both these brands, positioned in the luxury segment, which is currently expected to grow at a stupendous rate over the decade.

“The market for luxury in India is growing and the company is looking at ways to enter. Infiniti is our global brand and our intention is to cover the world, including India. We currently sell around 1,50,000 units worldwide and plan to grow this to 5,00,000 units. We are launching the brand in many different countries, though we are yet to find a solution for India,” Andy Palmer, Executive VP, Nissan, said.

However cracking the luxury segment won’t be easy for Infiniti. Currently Nissan is doing CBUs for the Teana and the X-Trail, leading to a very uncompetitive price. In the same segment, the German trio have been locally assembling the C-Class, 3-Series and A4 sedans. The same problem will be faced by Infiniti as the Germans are planning to increase their local assembly operations to ensure competitive pricing. Thus Nissan is planning to go the CKD route with Infiniti, which has led to a launch not before 2014.

The Infiniti G sedan (Rs. 30 lakhs), Infiniti M sedan (Rs. 50 lakhs), Infiniti EX SUV (Rs. 50 lakhs) and Infiniti FX SUV (Rs. 60 lakhs) are expected to be launched in India (all price estimated ex-showroom, Delhi) in a phased manner.

What Nissan can do with Infiniti is to launch a few vehicles through the CBU route initially to test the market conditions. The company will have to setup a dedicated distribution network, which won’t happen in a day or two. Infiniti’s performance division (Infiniti Performance Line) is expected to be launched in India too as both Mercedes-Benz and BMW have launched their AMG and M range of cars. Pricing will be key and so will brand promotion as not many know Infiniti as well as Jaguar and Lexus.